Our morning started at 3:30 AM, where we embarked on an hour bus ride to the train station in the town of Ollantaytambo. Even this early in the morning, people were up and lively in the streets of some parts of the city. After, we took a train station for a couple of hours - the views were amazing, following parts of the Urubamba River within the valley of the huge mountain ranges. We then reached Km 104, where we met our porters and chef. They took our duffle bags, and we began our hike up.
The first archeological site we visited was Chachabamaba, which was one of the first Inca checkpoints for the Inca trial. We continued along Wiñay Wayna to reach a small waterfall. It had quite cold water, which was a refreshing surprise after hiking for 4 hours in the heat. A neat trick our guide taught us was to wet our hat in the water and then wear it to cool down.
After, we stopped for an amazing lunch which our chef prepared. It had a few different Peruvian dishes, along with Chicha morada. We ate this with an amazing view of the Andes.
Our next stop was the Sun Gate, which is where we got our first look of Machu Picchu. It was a sublime experience to see one of the Wonders of the World surrounded by huge mountains. This was also a great place to just stop and relax.
From here it was only an hour walk to Machu Picchu. However, when we reached, we didn't go inside. We ran to go see the Inca Bridge, where we found the guard not at his post. We found him along the trail, making sure that no one was there as it was after closing time. We begged him to let us see it quickly, and he rudingly let us. Although it is now closed to actually go on, it is an amazing spectacle to see how people used to walk so closely with danger. The trail to get there also gave an amazing view of the river, especially now that the sun was setting.
The line to get back to Aguas Calientes, the town in which we would be camping, was around 2 hours long. However, when we finally got down, our chef prepared an amazing dinner, and we went straight to our tents to sleep.
We were woken up at 4 AM by roosters, which was a great alarm for us to to quickly get out of our bed. With a cup of hot coca tea, we packed up our stuff and went to breakfast; we had plantains, quinoa porridge, croissants, and pancakes. After our breakfast, we said our final goodbyes to our porters and chef.
After we walked to Aguas Calientes to wait in line for the bus. Just like last night, the bus line was horrendously long, and we barely missed the sunrise over Machu Picchu. We went on a two hour tour of Machu Picchu. It was super interesting to learn about the history and unknowns of the site. Along the way, there were amazing views of the Andes. There are also llamas roaming the pasture along some parts, but its not actually possible to go close to them.
The line for the bus ride down was short, and when we reached Aguas Calientes, we ate our lunch and then began our journey back to Cuzco for one more night.